Style: Uninspired prose.
Reading music: Liz Carroll and John Doyle: In Play
--Warning: Spoilers ahead--
Ex Machina Special #1 (of 2): Mitchell Hundred, The Great Machine, becomes a benevolent symbol of human endeavor and initiative. He, like any superhero, unwittingly and indirectly creates a foe. An opposite. That opposite is Pherson, an avatar of Nature's determination. He can understand and command animals just as Mitchell understands and commands machines.
Pherson is hard to demonize despite the fact that he sends an army of angry birds after Mitchell, Hitchcock style. In the eternal Man vs. Nature conflict, Nature tends to be the antagonist. At least, that's how it tends to be portrayed in literature, which is, of course written by Man. (It's like Aesop's "The Lion and the Statue".) Anyway, Nature tends to be too big, too emotionless to be evil. It's all about survival. And, well, Pherson is all about the survival of Nature. He's not evil; he's just misguided. A flawed man with a whole lot of power at his disposal. Well, okay, a supervillain without the evil, who cares deeply about nature but doesn't get that invasive species (like humans and starlings) have a right to live, too. (Well, that's my convoluted interpretation, anyway.)
What all of that has to do with the death penalty -- specifically Mayor Hundred's position on the death penalty -- I'm not sure, but that's what got the whole Man versus Nature thing started. (Actually, maybe I just hit on it in the preceding paragraph. Hrm.) I expect Vaughan will clear that up for us next month.
That said (and then I'm back to writing half-assed reviews because I truly do suck at this), Ex Machina has officially beaten out Exterminators in Presentation of the Man vs. Nature Literary Theme, Comic Book Style.
Yeah, that about sums it up. Of course, they're calling it fun because, darn it, it is fun, right down to the letters page. Fast, explosive, and hilarious. I look forward to the Crayon Butchery Variant in May.
Spider Woman: Origin #5: This whole series has been weirdly disjointed, and while it added up to a coherent enough story (and not a bad one at that), I don't feel like I came out of it with a whole lot of insight about the character, or even the desire to read more about her. At least, not in the context of a solo ongoing title. Maybe within a team structure, but... Eh.
Last week's Marvel Romance Redux was so much fun, I went and picked up the first two issues: Guys and Dolls and But He Said He Loved Me. Neither of them disappointed. How about a list of the heroines:
A Blonde bimbo
A psycho chick
A contrary med student
A former child star/con artist
And four future desperate housewives. Well, maybe.
Week's most memorable moment(s): Tabby, true to character, steals (well, borrows) Aaron's robot eye in Nextwave #4.
Tentative checklist for 26 April, 2006
All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: A to Z #4
Amazing Spiderman #531
Blue Beetle #2
Fantastic Four #537
New Avengers Annual #1
Ultimate Fantastic Four #29